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Nine Famous Musicians That Are Actually Indie Artists

There is a misconception that Indie artists never break through the music industry. Let’s change that. Join us as we list off 10 famous musicians that are actually Indie Artists.

Radiohead

Known men in the genre of Alternative Rock, these Englishmen from Abingdon, Oxfordshire pretty much rocked the world with their song “Creep”. This song pretty much became the anthem of anyone who felt like they didn’t quite fit in.

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Gorillaz

This virtual band from England is releasing their new album this year. However, despite massive commercial success, they are actually an indie band that isn’t signed on to any major label. Pretty impressive for a bunch of colorful characters!

Death Cab for Cutie

This famous American band has never signed up with a major music label. Instead, they mostly keep to organic and smalltime American labels. Who says that you need to have famous representation to land great deals and soundtrack features?

Florence + the Machine

We’re very doubtful that you haven’t heard the hauntingly melodic voice of Florence Welch. This lady and her band have reached massive successes and won awards like MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction and Brit Award for MasterCard British Album of the Year to name a few. You’ll find a grand selection of their songs on Youtube and other streaming sites. As her vocal styling is a favorite for TV and movies, there’s a high chance you’ve already heard one of her songs. You just don’t realize it.

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Coldplay

Coldplay is one of the continuously successful bands of the recent decade. They have massive hits and sold out world tours. The band’s constant shift from one musical genre to another is a freedom that Indie artists continue to enjoy. Coldplay has won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year which is a great honor. So if there was anyone to be a gold example of how big Indie artists can get, Coldplay is the go-to showpiece.

Oasis

We’re certain that you’ve heard the song “Wonderwall”. This song was made popular by the Gallagher brothers and it dominated music charts all over the world. While no longer together, both brothers continue to enjoy success in their own musical careers.

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Nirvana

This band is arguably one of the most famous bands in the world. The ill-fated frontman Kurt Cobain has left a fixed mark in the music industry. With their many awards and highly successful songs, they were the pillars of grunge culture.

The Strokes

This American rock group was hailed as the embodiment of post-punk revival. While it can be argued that there are many that do not consider The Strokes as a band that has “made it”, their record sales and massive fan base begs to differ.

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The White Stripes

This Rock Duo has raised a lot of eyebrows through the years. However, there is no denying their solid sound. Their song Seven Nation Army has been the favorite of movies and badass scenes of the recent decade.

As you can see, Indie Artists can and have made it big!

Fun at the Gong Show with Lobster Repair

Looking back on how far indie artists have come is one of our favorite pastimes. Today, we’ll be looking back on how Lobster Repair had a fun time at the Gong Show.

Why is it important to look back?

When you’re discussing a topic like music, you can’t expect it to stay the same forever. Music is a craft that continues to evolve with time and with every generation that’s born. We’ve seen its evolution from the start of human history and we still see it today.

The indie scene and indie artists have always been the sort of underdog when it comes to everything music related. If you think it’s tough trying to break into the industry now, you should imagine what it was like when the internet wasn’t around. Indie artists had to really haul ass to really get the word out about their band and their performance.

As most stations preferred commercial bands, it was really difficult for indie bands to put a toe into the door of success. Now that’s it’s been how many years since the constant change of music and the music industry, we’re offered a great hindsight into how indie artists tried to really make it work without “selling out” so to speak.

While it was truly difficult back then, this didn’t mean that indie players did not have champions giving them a great chance at success. One of these champions what the Gong Show.

What is the Gong Show?

This was an amateur talent contest that was around in the 70s. Think X-Factor with the judges and everything. This show offered anyone a chance to show their stuff on TV. In July of 1978, Lobster Repair competed and performed the song Day-O. This song you may know to be a traditional Jamaican song that was made popular by artist Harry Belafonte.

Lobster Repair brought their guitars, maracas, and hats and won the hearts of judges. There were big smiles all around! They were declared winners of that particular episode and went on to gain a modicum of success afterwards.

What is Lobster Repair?

Lobster Repair is an indie band that came to be back in the 70s. While it’s been a while since their incarnation, they’re still pretty much alive in the indie scene. What made them stand out back then was their primary use of acoustic guitar and play style.

It was those that saw Lobster Repair that day (and their subsequent live plays) that got inspired to pick up their own instruments.

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Indies and Instruments

Indie players usually placed a lot of emphasis on the simplicity of the instruments they play. The subsequent beauty that comes forth is one of the reasons why indie players continue to stay in the sphere of music. In today’s world, there are more ways to make sure that your sound is at its peak. One of those ways is through a studio set up. It’s highly possible with good studio monitors on your side.

Let the fun that Lobster Repair had on the Gong Show remind you the fun you can have while you’re playing your tunes.

Obscure No More: Shining the Spotlight on the Indies

When the time came that music was viewed as a product, it was inevitable that divides would occur: those backed by companies and those who go at it alone. Today, we take a closer look at the latter. The ones that stand apart from large companies that produce and promote musicians are called Independent artists or Indies.

What is an Indie?

An independent artist or musician is anyone that produces music without the aid of an already established commercial record company or their investors. Being independent means that artists or bands get to produce or create their music in complete creative freedom.

A common issue in larger scale productions are the interference that’s usually done by producers, engineers, record label owners and their investors. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dreamgirls, it is exactly what you see Curtis (played by Jamie Lee Fox) does to the artists around him. When the others wanted to create a song that was deemed to be a “message” song, Curtis shut that down and instead put forward songs that he felt would lead to better sales.

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It is indeed sad that “creative differences” or “artistic differences” often lead to the career demise or standstill of a promising artist. What’s even worse is that these artists are often so tangled in legal contracts that they literally cannot make music even if they had the means to. The contract options that major labels come up put the label’s needs and returns first and foremost.

This is why the independent artist scene is seen to be quite ideal. No one gets to impede or halt your creative process. You get to build the songs that you want to. However, this isn’t to say that everything is all roses in the independent scene.

Indie Woes

Indie artists often find themselves in the midst of either a massive market of other indie performers or opposition from a talent backed by a major label. Most radio stations often prioritize releases from artists that come from major labels. You could say that this form of discrimination led to the payola system back in the day.

While indie artists get to enjoy full creative freedom, this does not automatically lead to commercially successful songs or lucrative returns. Exposure can be quite difficult for independent artists. Most indie artists rely on word of mouth or reviews from performances to get the word out about them. Back in the day, this was very hard to do.

If anything, this emphasizes that Indie artists need support for a healthy community.

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Indie Music still has a Future

Indie music has been around ever since the term “commercial music” came to be. While there a lot of them that don’t reach worldwide success, they enjoy a very lucrative career touring the local indie scenes.

Indie music is a music career on hard mode. So in order for there to be successful artists, there needs to be support. That is what Squid Music and many other supporters of indie music hope to provide.